tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN January 18, 2013 11:00pm-12:00am PST
"outfront" next. lance armstrong reveals more details to oprah winfrey and the people he wronged are willing to pounce. how a series of lawsuits could wipe out his fortune. one american hostage confirmed dead in algeria. cnn communicates with another hostage who managed to escape. the nra's power is growing even after newtown. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, breaking news on lance armstrong.
coming clean, part two. the 41-year-old former cyclist continued his confession with more revelations about his cheating and lying for more than a decade. ed lavandera has been following the story. he's in austin tonight. ed? >> reporter: erin, oprah promised leading into this interview that it was at times emotional, and on this second night is when we finally saw some of that emotion. lance armstrong becoming the most emotional we saw him in this two-night interview when he had to explain to his kids that he had been lying all along for more than a decade. >> when this all really started, i saw my son defending me and saying that's not true. what you're saying about my dad is not true.
that i think will have most of the people who have been following the lance armstrong saga for so long that will really be parsing and taking a deeper look into, and this is the question of his comeback to the tour de france in 2009 and 2010. lance armstrong says he only did so with the blessing of his first wife, kristin armstrong, the mother of his three oldest children. listen to what he had to say about that. >> the thing about her and my doping and this comeback was she was the one person that i asked if i could do that. >> if you could come back? >> if i could come back. i figured if i'm not going to do this it was a big decision, i needed her blessing. she said to me, you can do it under one condition, that you never cross that line again. >> the line of drugs. >> yes. and i said you've got a deal. and i never would have betrayed that with her.
it was a serious ask, it was a serious commitment. she gave me her blessing. >> reporter: and so this is the part of the interview that i think will have a lot of people asking more and more questions about lance armstrong. mostly because if you look at that united states anti-doping agency report, it says that there were 38 blood samples taken from lance armstrong between 2009 and 2011 when he was making that comeback in the tour de france, and it showed blood levels with values with the likelihood of occurring naturally in less than 1 in a million. so a great deal of questions will be raised as lance armstrong continues to assert that he rode those last two years cleanly. there's a great deal of speculation about that. erin? >> thanks, ed. now i want to bring in our panel. david epstein is a senior writer for "sports illustrated." dana jacobson is with cbs sports and paul callan is our legal contributor. you were all critical last night. you didn't feel satisfied.
let me ask you, did you feel that -- did he win you another tonight? >> no. and i said earlier there's probably no way he could have won me over. maybe i saw a little more human side when his kids were mentioned. he was -- oprah said do you owe people an apology and he listed the people he owes an apology to, and he didn't do it last night when he had a chance. he didn't do it tonight when he had a chance. he could have done that publicly the way he humiliated them publicly. he didn't win me over. >> he did have a moment where he cried talking about his kids tonight, that there was emotion. but when he answered all of the other questions, david, did you feel better? >> well, i think people would have wanted to see the crying when he was talking about somebody else who he damaged. i don't think it's a surprise that he would be sad about his own loss or the harm in his own life, but he didn't have that sort of same kind of emotion when he was talking about other people, and he still side steps or denies certain facts which is a big problem. >> paul, to that point last
night you said did this help or hurt him. legally a huge question with all the lawsuits that could be coming, could wipe out his entire fortune. did it help or hurt? >> i think it hurts. there was a glimmer. sincerity in tonight's interview, but, you know, i have to say in totaling up these lawsuits that could be brought against him, he's worth $120 million but these lawsuits could be $50 million, $60 million, $70 million easily and he's going to face those as a result of this interview. >> i want to play a few of the moments from tonight. obviously he teared up and cried when talking about his children. but when he was asked about how he felt, how he felt disgraced, here is what he said. >> do you feel disgraced? >> of course. but i also feel humbled. i feel ashamed.
yeah, this is ugly stuff. >> ugly stuff. maybe it's that there's no emotion when he says it. you know, at those moments. >> but it's even he used the word ashamed. and ashamed of what? you didn't think you cheated because you didn't think that -- you thought the playing field was level because everybody else was doing it so what are you ashamed of? that you got caught? and she mentioned that. are you upset you got caught? yes. but he uses words and you didn't see any of it. if he didn't cheat, what's he ashamed of? >> david, i want to play another thing when he talked about something many people are curious about. the ling between steroids and his cancer. >> do you think that banned substances contributed to you getting cancer? >> i don't think so.
i'm not a doctor. i have never had a doctor tell me that or suggest that to me personally. but i don't believe so. >> he doesn't believe so. you have done a lot of reporting on this. >> i don't think there's any solid link between steroids and causing testicular cancer but every oncologist i talked to had concerns about what things like epo and human growth hormone, which are growth factors, do to a tumor someone doesn't know they have, cause it to spread quickly, which happened in this case. and we know in an article i reported with selena rogers, we were told the doctor who is now banned from cycling became concerned that he might have caused or exacerbated lance's cancer and became more conservative in his doping program. >> interesting given what he said. paul, i want to play another thing lance said to you and get your opinion on what happens to him from here from a legal perspective. oprah asked him why are you talking now? all of you are talking about how there's no emotion.
here is how he answered that. >> would i like to run the chicago marathon when i'm 50? i would love to do that and i can't. >> so right now you can't run a marathon. >> i can't run the austin 10k. i would love -- >> can you not run or you can just not run anything that pays you money. >> anything that is sanctioned. if there's 40,000 runners but it's sanctioned by the official governing body, i cannot run it. >> you cannot run it. >> i can't lie to you, i'd love the opportunity to be able to compete. that isn't the reason i'm doing this. >> paul, do you think that that's the truth? this isn't the reason he's doing this? >> it may be, but he's going to learn a terrible lesson and the lesson is it's not the crime it's the cover-up that frequently does people in. frankly, had he simply engaged in using drugs and doping techniques to win races, i think people may have forgiven him for
that but it was the aggressiveness of the cover-up, suing people, suing newspapers, destroying people's lives. that's the cover-up that i don't think the public or the sports sanctioning organizations will forgive him for. >> i guess the question will be after a time -- you were at the top. people have to really stomp on you for a long time before they're ready to bring you up again. there's one other thing i wanted to play. this is something i felt like i got a little glimpse into him and i'm not going to say good or bad. i just want to play it and give each of you a chance to react. here he is talking about being invincible. >> who is that guy? >> that is a guy who felt invincible, was told he was invincible, truly believed he was invincible. that's who that guy was. >> that's who that guy was, and then he says that guy is still in there. >> and that's the problem. that guy is always going to be in here or it's not the problem. that is who he is. that's never going away so maybe we never should have expected
that he would really apologize and really come clean. he does probably believe that he's above all of this. he talked about that with the punishment. he wouldn't say that it was unfair that he's had this lifetime ban, but he said everything else to insinuate that it was unfair. he's invincible. he shouldn't get caught like this. >> it does seem that's part of his core. >> that seemed like an honest moment though. >> it did. i thought it was -- whether you like him or not, it was who i am. >> it was interesting for him to say i was told i was invincible. i guess one lesson is maybe stop telling athletes they're invincible. >> and people internalize this. you tell someone you're great all the time, they start to think it or vise-versa. >> it's a problem in sports right now. you start with young kids doing that. you look at other sports, even just football. you tell a high school kid he's invincible and he's the best. you wonder why by the time they make it to the pros they ever the idea they are invincible and above the law. that's what happens. >> a bottom line to you, paul calan, you talk about losing so
much of his money. will he have anything left of his $125 million fortune? >> i think a lot of it will be burned up in these lawsuits. i doubt he's going to get indicted by federal authorities for criminal conduct because the statute of limitations has been run but if i was his lawyer i'd be a little worried about that. we'll have to see if there are second acts in american life as f. scott fitzgerald said. for lance armstrong i really doubt it. >> thanks to all of you. we appreciate it. still to come, one american hostage dead in algeria tonight, but some americans have escaped, and one of them talks to cnn. plus, the president has made gun control a priority. but fewer than half of americans of actually approve of what he's doing. the bottom line, is the nra winning the gun debate. >> and the artistic director of the most famous ballet in the world has been attacked with acid. ♪
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like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that?
american has been killed in the algeria hostage situation. i want to get straight to jill dougherty at the state department. jill, what can you tell us about this man who has lost his life? >> erin, the latest information we're getting is the name of that american who did die. it's coming in a statement from victoria nuland who is the spokesperson for the state department. she said that his name was fredrick buttaccio and he died in that hostage situation. the state department is expressing its deepest condolences to the family and also the friends of fredrick buttaccio. but they're not giving any details and that is one thing that has plagued it's information coming out of algeria ever since this began. we do know from a u.s. official that six americans, however, were freed or escaped, and others still are unaccounted for. earlier friday victoria nuland
also said that some americans are being held hostage. so the bottom line here is that of it continues to be an operation with very, very few details coming out from the algerians. secretary clinton was asked about that friday, and on the one hand the u.s. and other countries are very unhappy about the lack of information, but on the other hand they realize it's a very complex operation and that it appears to be continuing. erin? >> jill dougherty, thank you very much. of course, we do know there are some americans still unaccounted for tonight. we are also hearing the first words though from another american hostage who is safe and we want to get straight to our david mattingly in texas who has been following the other american hostages. david, what can you tell us about the american you have spoken to who is alive? >> reporter: erin, first of all, we can tell you his name. that's significant because it's the first time that we've been able to confirm a name of one of the americans who were at the plant at the time. his name is mark cobb.
he's reportedly from texas. we weren't able to confirm that directly with him because we had a very brief exchange with him. cnn contacting him via text, and he sent two text messages to us. the first one confirming, he said i am safe, yes. the next one he explained how he managed to escape. he said he escaped the first night of the siege along with some algerian staff members that were at the plant with him. at this point he wasn't willing to comment further suggesting how careful everyone is with the safety of so many people still at stake there at the facility. >> obviously, he in a very senior position. year not sure exactly where he is right now although he's safe. cnn obviously has been working to identify some of the other americans involved. this is the second american that we have formally been able to identify. what more do you know about the others? >> reporter: the other american
that we've talked to you about last night, he is from texas. we're not going to tell you any more about him or tell you his name right now. his family tells us he is among those being held hostage. they found out on wednesday morning they tell us. since then they have been very reluctant to talk. i spoke to them very briefly, to a family member just a short while ago, and i was told we don't know any more at this point than you do. and so, erin, again, that shows just how long these hours have been, how little information has been coming through, and how tense everyone remains with that lack of information. >> it certainly does, but, of course, i know you're down there in texas working that and talking to those families and thank you very much. just a recap here. cnn confirms one american hostage has been killed. we have learned the identities of two other american hostages, and we have others who are unaccounted for tonight. as soon as we get more information about any of these people, we are going to bring it to you. now, again, today details have been sparse and contradictory out of the hostage
situation. here is what we know right now overall. the algerian state media report that 12 hostages have been killed since algeria launched its ground operation yesterday. there may be americans among them. 650 hostages have been freed by the algerian military again according to the algerian press service. of the 132 foreign service workers taken hostage, 100 have been confirmed as released. cnn has learned the united states are evacuated as many as 20 people caught up in the hostage taking. secretary of state hillary clinton has urged the algerian government to use the utmost care in the operation because as she has made it very clear in this case, it was an act of terror. >> let's not forget this is an act of terror. the perpetrators are the terrorists. they are the ones who have assaulted this facility, have taken hostage algerians and
others from around the world who were going about their daily business. >> "outfront" tonight mike rogers of michigan, the chairman of the house new jersey committee, a commissioned officer in the u.s. army, and also served as an fbi special agent. good to talk to you, chairman, again. let me begin by asking what you can tell us right now. as you know, the details are murky in some areas. we're starting to get more clarity and, unfortunately, have confirmed one american has been killed in this operation. others still unaccounted for. what more can you tell us? >> well, there is -- the rescue effort or at least trying to reoccupy the gas facility happened in two stages. the algerians went in yesterday late to try to at least push back and flush out the terrorists, and that resulted we know in deaths. we're just not very clear. the reason that's not clear, erin, it's a long way from algiers. they aren't really allowing an international presence there. they want to handle this on their own. we know today they launched a second series of efforts on the facility that did result in
freeing of more hostages and it now has the hostage takers kind of hunkered down. we're just not sure about the numbers. the numbers have been all over the map. i know the algerian news agency has released numbers. i have a feeling we'll find those aren't accurate either. >> they're saying 12 total hostages have been killed. as you said, we have no idea whether the numbers are accurate and they have been all over the map. it's a fair point. we know at least one american is among the dead, whatever the dead count may be. i'm curious as to your perception as to whether the u.s. is taking too much of a backseat? yes, it's a sovereign country, they said they were going to take the lead. they went without telling the united states, shocking the united states according to many reports which described how many u.s. officials felt when the algerians went in. could the u.s. say, forget it, we're going in.
>> could have done it, not likely. one of the things you have, algeria is a police state. so they have a very tough hold on algiers, their city in the north. it gets a little less down south toward the border areas. some of the facilities, this one included, is in a very remote location. it's closer to the libyan border. it's not likely that we would have had great capability as quick as the algerians did to actually get to the facility. i think, erin, that they made the conclusion, listen, i'm either going to have to negotiate with london, paris, washington, d.c., and tokyo or we're going to go handle this problem that is growing in perception that emboldens, they believe, the al qaeda folks from doing even more of this kind of thing. and i think they decided to take quick action for those reasons and didn't include the other nation states for that reason. >> a spokes person for the group claiming responsibility for this, has said the war in mali is the terms.
they're saying they will release an undisclosed american hostages in exchange for two prisoners that they want. and the state department spokeswoman, victoria nuland, was asked about this, whether the united states would negotiate, and here is what she said. >> the united states does not negotiate with terrorists. >> i'm asking do you expect algeria to live up to the same motto? >> we do not negotiate with terrorists. we're obviously in consultations with the algerians. >> i'm curious what the u.s. should do. israel used to say we'll never negotiate with terrorists until they did and she got freedom for one man in exchange for 1,027 prisoners. should the united states negotiate now? there are americans in algeria whose lives may hang on that decision. >> that's the first thing you learn as a new fbi agent. it puts a price on the head of every other person in the region.
it's tough when you have family members there. i would be very, very reluctant to give them anything they want for that very reason. you just make every other westerner across the maghreb, northern africa, their price on their head just went up. and part of the problem here is the reason these folks have been successful, erin is the way they make money is through ransoms. they do kidnappings and ransoms. as a matter of fact, at one time they were the single largest contributor, al qaeda in the maghreb, through ransom payments. it became a cottage industry. i think that's a dangerous precedent because that whole region is becoming more destabilized. lots of weapons that left libya while the united states was not making a quick decision. by the time they were done deciding if we should or shouldn't work on those weapons caches, the last weapon was on a truck headed towards places like
mali. so all of these problems are kind of colliding. you see these more brazen attempt. i'd be reluctant to negotiate with them. >> obviously a tough decision to make but certainly explaining your logic. thank you very much. the man claiming responsibility, he's a veteran jihadist. he has a history of kidnapping foreigners like chairman rogers just said. he is 40 years old. he's an algerian who has eluded counterterrorism forces for years. >> reporter: we first heard about this man while traveling on the mali border last summer. a tribesman we were with received a warning call telling him this man was in the area. >> what's his name? >> born in algeria, he's been a jihadist since his late teens. he's feared but also revered in northern africa. he lost an eye fighting in afghanistan and one eye is just
one of his many names. they also call him the prince and mr. marlboro. a nickname he earned as a successful smuggler of cigarettes and drugs. the tribesmen we were with feared he would kidnap or kill us if we went to the town where he was. he were forced to turn back and returned safely. the former canadian diplomat robert fowler wasn't so lucky. he was taken by the brigade in 2008 while he was a special envoy for the united nations. >> i was terrified that the whole thing would end with a knife at my throat in a tent like your colleague daniel pearl. >> fowler, who was held for 130 days and eventually released, says he called him one-eyed jack as in the jack of diamonds and describes him as a survivor. >> he's a very tough guy. he's been through it all, and he's very careful. but he's not in any way a romantic.
it's all about getting the job done with very fierce focus. >> fierce focus that he has used to form alliances throughout the region. africa's security analyst rudy atalla says the jihadist has worked in libya, mauritania, libya and mali where he married a daughter of the timbuktu. he named his son osama. >> he's operated in that space very comfortably and he knows how to make himself disappear. >> he says his involvement with the algerian hostage situation is just another reason that counterterrorism units around the world need to take notice. >> he's got the potential to go to the next level, which is, you know, not only just taking hostages, but if cornered, he's probably prepared to fight. >> "outfront" next, the president has made gun control a priority in his second term. but fewer than half of americans
approve of what he's doing. here is the bottom line. is the nra winning the gun debate? plus doctors racing to save the vision of a man attacked a acid. police investigating whether his work with the ballet is the reason for the horrific attack. ♪ [ male announcer ] don't just reject convention. drown it out. introducing the all-new 2013 lexus ls f sport. an entirely new pursuit. introducing the all-new 2013 lexus ls f sport.
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it added more than 30,000 new members on the day of the president's press conference. 30,000 people in one day. while president obama has made gun control a priority in this term, he's still struggling to get the american people on his side. the latest cnn poll show that is 49% of americans disapprove of how the president has handled gun control and that's even after this ad which was criticized by democrats and republicans alike. >> are the president's kids more important than yours? then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school? >> is the nra winning the gun debate even in spite of an ad like that? "outfront" continue aaron blake a political reporter for "the washington post" who wrote about this topic today and cnn contributors reihan salam and roland martin. you gave two examples as to why the nra is going to win. they did have a promotion if you
were a life member you could sign up family and friends at a discount. that also helped them. your second point was whatever passes through congress will be small, not big and broad. why is the nra so strong, aaron? >> well, i think that this is really such a regional issue in congress right now. the coasts are very much pro gun control but the middle of the country, even a lot of the democrats in the middle of the country and in the south especially, are very pro-gun rights. so, you know, we see in the last few days here even senators -- democrat senators like max baucus from montana, even al franken from minnesota hesitated at first to endorse the assault weapons ban. i think this is just a very tough issue for these politicians to deal with, particularly in the middle of the country and when that happens, their reflex often is to vote no. >> roland, one thing that amazed me in this, not just the membership, was the favorability rating. because it seemed to me, and
being there in newtown, that something had changed in this country. that something had changed in every single one of us to see what happened there happen. yet after newtown, 41% of americans view the organization favorably. that is unchanged from two years ago. that's unchanged. how has the nra not taken a hit? >> here is the deal. because the people are against the gun violence that's in this country, not necessarily the nra. and i think we saw can't act as if -- as if you are against gun violence, therefore, you're going to hate the nra. look, the nra is a lobbying group. you have to disagree with aaron. it's the coasts and the middle of the country. there are a lot of people in the middle of the country in kansas city, in st. louis, in chicago, in other cities who are not happy with what's happening with gun violence. what you don't have though is you don't have as powerful of a lobbying group who has the ability to raise money to give to candidates and to say we're going to run the ads.
you aren't seeing the group who are really advocating for more gun control releases these kind of ads on the internet. they need to be more aggressive and more proactive and say let's see what happens with president obama and congress. they have to get in the game, too. >> there are some republicans who have taken on the nra. one of them is a republican that a lot of republicans think is going to be their messiah, chris christie. that man believes in gun control, he's believed in it passionately for a long time. here is him attacking the nra. >> to talk about the president's children or any public officer's children who have not by their own choice but by requirement to have protection and to use that somehow to try to make a political point i think is reprehensible. >> doesn't that sort of signal what a lot of americans feel? the knew of the nra hasn't changed but most americans to favor some changes to gun control.
>> there are two things going on. on the one hand you see from governor christie the nra is not seen as bulletproof. he evidently doesn't think it's too, too scary to take on the nra and that's a very significant development. on the other hand, to aaron's point, the big thing that matters most in these political debates is intensity. you could have a big diffuse group of people who have a different view but if you have an intense minority that really votes on a particular issue, that can outweigh having a bigger group of people who feel differently. the problem with the gun control debate is that they need to say, look, we don't want to target lawful gun owners. 47% of adults in this country say they have a gun in the home. you want to say we want to separate out the people who are gun trafficking and doing other things that promote crime and gun violence from, you know, that cause of lawful gun owners. i think the nra, they win by losing.
the more you have a debate around these issues, the more it seems we're going to get more gun laws, the nra builds intensity that way. >> aaron, that's the mistake that i have been saying from day one. this should not be a gun control conversation. it should be a gun violence conversation. and if you are talking gun control, you're playing on the nra's field. if you say gun violence and you broaden it, that's a different debate. that's been the problem from day one. >> our fourth story "outfront," the dark side of the ballet. the artistic director of russia ace famed bolshoi ballet is the victim of an acid attack. it could leave him blind. he was approached by a masked assailant and some suspect a fierce rivalry could have been behind the attack. phil black is out front with the story. >> the attack on sergei filin has shocked russians because of its cruelty. concentrated acid thrown on his face outside his home.
but also because of who he is. the artistic director of the country's most prestigious ballet company, the man who leads the world famous dancers of the bolshoi theater. >> translator: we know that something beyond understanding has happened. something horrible. it's hard to believe that such a thing could happen in the art world. >> reporter: he joined the bolshoi ballet in 19 8 and danced with the company for nearly 20 years. he became artistic director in 2011. to lead the bolshoi is an opportunity coveted by many in the ballet world. >> translator: we as the minister of culture consider this to be an attack on not only such a bright cultural figure but also on the whole bolshoi theater and russian culture. >> reporter: this theater is not only a towering icon of russian culture, it's also known as a house of intrigue, ever bitter feuds and passionate rivalries but even those who know the theater intimately, its egos and
the powerful emotions that often shake its walls are shocked to consider the possibility that a professional jealousy has come to this. but sergei filin's colleagues leave his work must be the focus of investigations to find out who was responsible. the theater says before the attack he experienced months of harassment. his car tires slashed, his e-mail hacked. he received violent threats. >> translator: we do hope all the possible authorities will investigate the case and the case will be solved because it's a question of the global reputation of our country and of the image of russia. >> reporter: filin has undergone surgery. it's possible he will lose sight in one or both of his eyes. phil black, cnn, moscow. >> "outfront" next, 12 dead in algeria tonight. there are so many unanswered questions, but one thing is for sure, there is at libya connection. and one of the most heartfelt stories you will hear all day. we're going to introduce you to
we are back with more on our top story, the terror connection. the state department has confirmed that the death of u.s. citizen fredrick buttaccio in the hostage situation in algeria. one other american, mark cobb, managed to escape. he's told cnn he's safe in an undisclosed location. now, there are so many unanswered questions about what happened at the gas field in algeria, but one thing is clear, there is a libya connection.
chris lawrence is at the pentagon with an "outfront" investigation. >> reporter: the land nato liberated from moammar gadhafi is now home to multiple training camps for potential terrorists. >> islamist militants sympathetic to al qaeda have established safe havens in several parts of libya. >> reporter: benghazi, where americans were targeted and four killed is just one of the strongholds, but the camps are spread throughout the country. libyan officials tell cnn terrorism analyst paul cruickshank. >> amongst those numbers are people with direct connections to al qaeda. >> three training camps in the desert near the algerian border. that's only 30 miles from the gas complex that's still under siege. a u.s. official tells cnn the militants who seized american hostages likely crossed that border to carry out their attack.
>> libya is a lesson in what the international community can achieve. >> reporter: president obama called the limited operation in libya is recipe for the future. >> not single u.s. troop was on the ground. >> reporter: but that lightfoot print left room for others to step in. ayman al zawahiri, al qaeda's leader in 2011, dispatched a top lieutenant to libya ordering him to build up al qaeda's network there. the ringleader of the algeria attack travelled to libya is little more than a year ago. >> and he met with the commandant of one of these camps in southern libya during this time. >> reporter: but algeria may only be the latest link in a chain that leads back to libya. in near mali militants are armed to the teeth and fighting back. >> mali is the first victim of libya because of the weapon caches that were raided.
>> reporter: defense secretary leon panetta issued a warning to those running the training camps. >> terrorists should be on notice that they will kind no sanctuary, no refuge, not in algeria, not in north africa, not anywhere. >> reporter: so far this al qaeda group has been focused in africa, but counterterrorism officials are concerned that if these training camps continue to flourish, their ambitions may expand. libya is right on the southern shore of the mediterranean, and officials are concerned that militants could try for an attack in europe or european militants could come to libya, get training, and then try to carry out an attack back home. erin? >> thanks very much to chris lawrence. fran townsend is a former homeland and counter-terrorism security adviser to president
george bush. and stuart holliday is a former ambassador. stuart, let me start with you. in chris' reporting there was a sound bite from president obama from a very different time, and that sound bite he said libya is a success. it's a lesson in success of how to do these things. was that premature given what chris lawrence just reported? >> well, i think we've all seen it's much easier to focus on a tactical operation in a short term and topple a leader but it's harder to create the stability and security needed to prevent safe havens from developing for these terrorists. so i think obviously it's a bit premature to say it's been a success. there's a lot more work to do to root out these terrorist camps in libya and algeria. >> fran, that appears to be part of the problem, right? you get rid of gadhafi it's like, look, high ho, the witch is dead and all of a sudden
training camps are alive and well and the united states ambassador is killed and nobody may ever go to jail for it. >> we should be clear, mukhtar al mukhtar had this safe haven along the border and was training there and ready for just this opportunity. libya falls, weapons are available, more jihadists are available, there are people he could add to his coterie, and he's been a problem for many years, almost a decade now, and this is his moment. he takes advantage of what essentially as you describe it, erin, is a power vacuum. >> it is a power vacuum and getting broader. fran, i want to ask you about something defense secretary leon panetta has said. part of this you just heard from chris lawrence, but i have another part that i want you and our viewers to hear. here is leon panetta. >> terrorists should be on notice that they will find no sanctuary, no refuge, not in
algeria, not in north africa, not anywhere. we've got to go after al qaeda wherever the hell they're at and make sure they find no place to hide. >> i know he means it, but the problem is that was in december. this is now. they've been saying that after they were saying al qaeda was on the run. now they're saying we're going to go after them. but yet are we going after them? are the terrorists at this point feeling the united states says this, but what are they doing? >> i'm sure they do because, as you say, the passage of time. let's be clear, sometimes it's very hard to strike back right away. fbi director bob mueller was in libya talking to the investigators this week. i expect that the investigation is going on. but remember after the east africa embassy bombings, president clinton had missiles launched both at training camps in afghanistan that turned out to be empty and in sudan, and there's no real point to that. so the current administration can only really act and
retaliate for benghazi if they've got good targets and good information, both law enforcement and intelligence. they're gathering that. it's been frustratingly slow. but terrorists shouldn't presume just because we haven't acted yet that we won't. >> leon panetta made it clear the united states would. are you surprised by the administration's immediate labeling of this as a terrorist attack which was organized and planned which obviously at least rhetorically is in contrast to how they described the attack on benghazi at first? >> not at all. in this case you had a terrorist leader in a group that claimed and was out front claiming the attack as their own. i think they regret not doing that sooner in the last case, but i was not surprised. they're going to make sure to be definitive about that i'm sure in the future. >> they certainly were definitive. thanks, fran and stuart. still to come, if all dogs go to heaven, then the one we're about to show you must be headed for sainthood. would you take it?
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